Kluster - Vulcano 1971 - CD
Vulcano is sourced from original master recordings recently discovered by Kluster member, and Tangerine Dream engineer, Klaus Freudigmann. Along with Admira, also being released at the same time on Important, Vulcano is presented here for the first time in this deluxe package. These intense sessions were made with Schnitzler at the helm, as always, after the departure of Mobius and Roedelius from the group.
Conrad Schnitzler founded Kluster in 1969 along with Roedelius, Mobius and often Klaus Freudigmann who had multiple roles within the group as a player, engineer and instrument inventor. Eventually Roedelius and Mobius left Kluster and continued on as Cluster while Schnitzler and Freudigmann continued as Kluster often exploring the communal aspects of music by bringing new people into the group.
Summer of Love? Kluster was formed in West Berlin - much closer to Siberia than to San Francisco, Haight Ashbury and Golden Gate Park. What came to Berlin with a two year delay was only the outer fringe of the "Summer of Love." Its blossom would have died soon in the Cold War breeze, and by 1970 a lot of the optimism of the mid Sixties had already ceased. It became obvious that creating a better world needs more than flowers in your hair. But the political movements of the late sixties were a child of the same optimism that fuelled the rapid developments changing not only the material side of life but also arts, music and the way people interacted. The new Left and the hippie movement where all these ideas were concentrated wasn’t the result of poverty, but built on the belief that with modern technology there was enough for everybody. It was only a question of a fair distribution.
That optimism had a soundtrack that was based on the same technology. From the electric guitar, reverb and echo units to the first synthesizers, everything was welcome that sounded as if it came from the future. Future meant space travel - so it's quite natural that the first effects wildly used where those which send you to a space you’ve never been before: artificial reverb and echo. A lot of people had their first encounters with this new music at the movies - watching sci-fi films like Forbidden Planet with the electronic tonalities of Louis and Bebe Barron (1956 - and their work wasn't called music to avoid paying royalties and having to quarrel with the conservative musicians trade unions). For a few years rock music was the most popular of new sounds and for a lot of people the door opener. It was one of the rare moments when you could be at the same time avant-garde and mainstream. But this did not last long. Pop music quickly became old music with new instruments when it turned into highly standardized entertainment. And the use of the electric guitar developed rules like any other traditional instrument.
Among the people that met to form Kluster were Klaus Freudigmann and Wolfgang Seidel, who both grew disenchanted with pop music, and Conrad Schnitzler who came from a completely different direction as a sculptor. While the others discovered the new territories of sound via psychedelic music, Schnitzler was a fan of Stockhausen, Cage, etc., but was distracted by the highbrow elite attitude with which this music surrounded itself in Germany. What met was the self empowerment of early rock music with the search for new sounds and structures of 20th century avant-garde music.
"That Kluster made simple music on DIY instruments, droning and banging on one note for half an hour, did not mean we were into any kind of primitivism. We hated the bongo playing hippie and his backward dreams of tribal 'healthy' societies (forgetting that hunger, war and oppression were not invented this year). To us the longing for sweet melodies was a regressive refuge from a world that isn’t sweet. We did not want to go back. If the future was inevitable, we wanted to shape it - at least sonically. That we preferred slow tempos sometimes gets mistaken as 'dark.' We just gave every sound enough time to be listened to. And we wanted to draw a line between us and the 'look I am the fastest' guitar heroes that began to rule the stages. What we did was get rid of the schemes of pop and popular classic and find out what else we can do with our tools, polishing and lubricating them for a future music.
"But no matter how far your mind is in the future, your stomach is still on earth and demands feeding. When things got tougher in the Seventies, the people that met under the labels Kluster and Eruption had to look for ways to earn their living. Conrad Schnitzler started his long solo voyage, Klaus Freudigmann took part in the squatters movement, others took ordinary jobs and surfaced now and then with some new piece of music. What’s left are some tapes and a few minutes of film documenting an installation Conrad Schnitzler sat up at Galerie Block (1970) reflecting the ideas behind Kluster. Violins that were bought cheap from the flea market and equipped with contact microphones and plugged into radios that had been mounted to the wall as amplifiers. The visitors (hopefully no musicians) experimented collectively with the sounds from the violins - hearing themselves in the radio." ~ Wolfgang Seidel
I founded the music group Kluster after my exit 1969 from the group GERÄUSCHE (Zodiak with A.Roedelius and Boris Schak). Between 1969 to 1972 I worked with different friends,with TD among others. With them I tried to perform the music of my imagination .
"Finally Klaus Freudigmann and Wolfgang Seidel remained at the work continuously over the years. In addition there were several actions with A.Roedelius and D.Möbius where the LPs KLUSTER Klopfzeichen,Osterei and Eruption were made. Instruments, amplifier and effects I gave D.Moebius because he had had no own equipment. I didn't want the music to remind of the normal. My criterias were not folk music, not rock music, not pop songs and not dance music. The idea for 'Cluster' later 'Kluster' (I wanted to avoid Americanisms) is not only a name for a group but a form of music.
"I had amplifier, instruments, contact mic's and effects, that could used by the others, too. Klaus had tape machines and microphones. In addition he constructed instruments and electronical sound generators, which made the most undescribable sounds. Wolfgang had everything connected with drum and bass and in addition amplifier and effects.
"Klaus had rooms where we could work out our music performances. The tapes 'Electric Meditation' with TD were made in one of that spaces. Most of the performances happened with friends who took part in the actions; therefore Conrad,Klaus,Wolfgang and friends. I've got all rights at that music. The numberings of the single CDRs have nothing to do with the date of the creation of the music. I've numbered them, because I've dubbed them.
"That was difficult and I tried to do it as best as possible on CDR. A special date for the creation of the single tapes couldn't be find out, therefore the date of the creation - years 1969 - 1973. After that there were only sporadical actions with KLUSTER, no money for place to play, only cold winter." ~ Conrad Schnitzer